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Dr. Erlanger Turner

Assistant Professor of Psychology
Psychology Division, Graduate School of Education and Psychology


Dr. Erlanger "Earl" Turner teaches courses on child psychopathology, research methodology, and multicultural psychology. Prior to joining the tenure-track faculty at Pepperdine, Dr. Turner worked as a licensed clinical psychologist in urban communities and taught courses in academic medical centers and minority-serving institutions. His research expertise primarily focused on mental health among racial and ethnic communities, access to behavioral health services, cultural competency, therapy use among parents, and the impact of race-based stress.

Dr. Turner is author of the book African American Mental Health: Innovations in Research and Practice, and has served on the editorial board for the journals Practice Innovations, Psychological Services, Evidence-Based Practice in Child and Adolescent Mental Health, and The Counseling Psychologist. He has also published chapters in the books Handbook of Mental Health in African American Youth (2016), Encyclopedia of Personality and Individual Differences (2017), Eliminating Race-Based Mental Health Disparities: Promoting Equity and Culturally Responsive Care across Settings (2019), and The Routledge International Encyclopedia of Sport and Exercise Psychology (2020).

In addition to his clinical and research work, Dr. Turner is a nationally recognized expert on mental health and multicultural psychology. In 2014, he was awarded the Judy E. Hall Early Career Psychologist Award by the National Register of Health Service Psychologists. He has served as Chair of the American Psychological Association (APA) Board of the Advancement of Psychology in the Public Interest and was appointed by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to serve on the Behavioral Health National Project Advisory Committee (2016-2019) where he was one of the contributors that develop an online e-learning program for behavioral health providers to help improve strategies for working with diverse clients. He also serves on the Board of Directors for the Society of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology (APA Division 53). Recently, Dr. Turner was elected as the first Black male to serve as President of the Society for Child and Family Policy and Practice (APA Division 37). As a media psychologist, Dr. Turner is a mental health blogger for US News & World Report and Psychology Today, and he has also been quoted by outlets such as the New York Times, The Washington Post, Oprah Magazine, and Bustle.


  • Ph.D., Texas A&M University
  • M.S., Texas A&M University
  • B.S., Louisiana State University